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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, i am going to be building my own stand and light fixtures for my soon to be 55g fancy goldfish tank.

I have a good idea of what im going to do.
I would like to have Anacharis (Egeria Densa) in there with some Vallisneria Spiralis maybe some floating plants and what ever else i throw in there.

Im going to be suspending a 4 ft 2 bulb shop light fixture above the tank.

What bulbs do i need for these plants (perferably id like to get them from lowes or home depot for cost reasons)

And how far away should i hang it from the substrate/water level?

Im new to this so any advice would be great and links are great because i know exactly what you are talking about!

Thanks!
 

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What bulbs do i need for these plants (perferably id like to get them from lowes or home depot for cost reasons)

And how far away should i hang it from the substrate/water level?Thanks!
Depends on how you like your aquarium to look...kelvin isn't always the best way to decide on bulbs, but generally speaking - 2,000-5,000k bulbs tend to give the tank a reddish/yellowish look. Some would even say dark. It does a good job at bringing out the colors of red fish and red plants. 5,000k-8,000k are generally what most people use. They're referred to as daylight bulbs. Anything above 8,000k tends to be more on the blueish side...like most reef tanks. If I were you I'd just get some inexpensive GE or Phillips daylight bulbs for your tank. It'll give it a nice bright color.

As for hanging it, I wouldn't go higher than 4 inches above the tank. With only two bulbs you're only throwing down somewhere between 10-20 Par = low light. That's not a problem because E.Densa will grow in a toilet, not sure about the V. Spiralis...but it doesn't seem too demanding. Adding DIY CO2 wouldn't hurt, it'll only help the plants be able to better use the limited light they're getting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They probably will but, if they grow fast enough they could keep up, also depends on the goldfish, they all have different personalities and what you feed them, how much and if you provide them with snacks like kale and zucchini 24/7, why eat icky anacharis when you have fresh veggies all the time. Also kinda why id like to find a cheap route to light my tank if they decide they really like my plants. I dont want an expensive fixture and bulbs for nothing going to waste.
 

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It is hard to get a 4 bulb T8 shoplight to fit on a standard 55 gallon tank. If you could do it, it would certainly help, but I doubt that you would get medium light. Add DIY CO2, with a couple of 2L bottles, and you could still grow pretty well any plants you want.
 

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Lowes had hanging dual T8 48” 32watt fixtures, silver w/ black end caps for $29.00. I bought two and went with 2-6500K, 2-5000K bulbs labeled as daylight and sunshine.
GE daylight 32w, 2700 lumens, 6500K, cri 78
GE sunshine 32w, 2800 lumens, 5000K, cri 86
2.3 watts per gallon.

Lights are set 6 ½” above the tank covers.


Easy plants but they did fill the tank





Using only two bulbs in the same fixture 3 ½” while things did get green the plants became very tall. Later I switched out this fixture for a lower grade T5HO 2x54w with so so reflector <$50.00 and placed the fixture 6" above the tank and I'm happier with it.



good luck OP lighting drives everything else and Hoppy is a great help.
 

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Several members here have used that light. Maybe they can answer whether or not it can sit right on the glass. I didn't notice if it comes with a bulb, but I doubt that it does. Lights usually don't.
 
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